New Project (Savage Worlds?) Brainstorming


  • Pitcrew

    Soooooooooooo....

    I've been looking for games to play for like, three weeks. World of Darkness is tough for me to get into at the best of times, but none of the current offerings have managed to seize my imagination. There are no really good superhero games (all the current games seem pretty... restrictive, to me) and the only Shadowrun or Swords & Sorcery games in town are Denver and Tenebrae respectively, both of which have crazy issues.

    Straight up, I don't know if I've got the time to get something off the ground fast, but I figure if I can't find something I'd like to play, the best option is to do what I do in real life - make it. Before I even start looking at shit like 'how do you get a dice rolling system going?' and 'how do I make sure backups exist?' Step one seems like it'd be 'decide what you wanna do'.

    I fear World of Darkness because it comes with so much baggage and I don't know (or like) the themes well enough, so I'm going to take that off the table.

    I've been on a huge Savage Worlds kick lately, which has the advantage of being very easy to understand, very cheap, and very flexible, so I'm leaning towards that as a system choice. With that in mind, I'm thinking of the following options to provide something that isn't anime-based or urban fantasy (as those genres seem to have plenty of support).

    1. Deadlands - Has the advantage of being a published setting and I've got all the Deadlands: Reloaded stuff. A new video game is coming out at some point in the near future and that'll hopefully spur some interest too (did you see what I did there? Hah). Deadlands is 'fantasy western' so you can have your scary 'horror' elements in there, but it is also about gunslinging and being a bad hombre. Could be interesting, but I fear it is pretty niche.

    2. Original Fantasy - Swords & Sorcery with magic and adventuring as a key focus. I've always liked the idea of playing around with a Guilds-type structure, where people can form up adventuring companies and go questing for gold, loot and glory. I don't know any published fantasy settings well enough to want to try and convert them over, but this has the advantage of being generic enough anyone ought to be able to get the general gist... with the potential pitfall that a lot of people might not want to bother learning about the (oh so rich and deep) lore of whatever setting I cobble together.

    3. Oriental Adventures! Basically the same as the above but set in a more Samurai/Ninja/Weird Japanese Monster setting than a classical western fantasy one. This is mostly because I think samurai adventures are bloody cool, but I'm not sure I'd want to mash them all together into one big pot. I am seriously burned out on 'multiverse' style games and (personally) think it is better to try and keep themes mostly separate.

    4. Superheroes? Basically the same idea as the fantasy one but... for superheroes. I have the notes for a game I was going to run in the aftermath of a Crisis on Infinite Worlds style event where, basically, the good guys lost and heroes from a bunch of worlds were shoved into the one remaining Earth with amnesia, and are now remembering who they were. This has the advantage of my ... having a bunch of shit written for this already, but I'd have to convert it all over to Savage Worlds and there's already a few superhero games around, even if they aren't to my tastes.

    5. Space Opera - I could easily get into some sort of space opera thing as an alternative to the fantasy idea. Again, love the idea of ships and crews running around trying to scratch out a living as weird aliens and political machinations boil in the background. Some sort of Babylon-5-esque setup would probably be my choice here... but again, this'd require a lot of work and people might be turned off to the idea of learning all about a new sci-fi world just for the opportunity to play.

    I'm thinking that if I go for one of the original ideas, I make it VERY OBVIOUS in BIG FLASHING LETTERS that I am open to integrating more original content into the world (but it would have to be original - nothing makes me facepalm harder these days than seeing Daleks and Klingons turn up in the same setting).

    The hope would be that these kinds of action-focused 'Go Be Protagonist'-esque settings would help take some of the pressure off me as potential Headstaff, because in any case I would want people to focus on the adventure more than politicking amongst each other, and thus the potential for drama bombs would be ... less. Not nothing, but less.

    What do you guys think? Do you have preferences for the above? Is there a genre you think is crying out for representation? Is there something painfully obvious I'm missing? Is Savage Worlds gonna mean that it is literally just me, sat alone, on my own, on my server, pouting for eternity? Most of my old MU*ing contacts have drifted off into the ether so... any advice y'all can offer would be greatly appreciated!



  • Something Different always appeals to me.

    My only real advice at this juncture is to pick a genre you're actually passionate about telling stories in, figure out what your expectations are about activity, then be ready to do some fairly aggressive plot-running out of the gate to get the ball rolling.


  • Pitcrew

    In terms of genre, that's... the difficult question really. I know I like action, which I often wind up feeling is lacking, and cooperation between PCs against NPCs rather than PC on PC conflict - but those are elements that can fit in any of the above genres really.

    In terms of activity, judging by other places, I'd be happy with somewhere between 10 and 20 regular players - any lower and I may as well be running a play by post game (which requires a helluva lot less overhead). More than 30 and I'll probably have to hope some of them are willing to handle the bureaucracy side of things too because I doubt I could keep up with awarding/spending XP and approvals for a playerbase that size by myself.


  • Pitcrew

    Ooooh Deadlands please. Also, I swear I won't do Roland Deschain.

    Deadlands: Reloaded looks fairly neat as a system and concept.


  • Coder

    Personal preferences: Sword & Sorcery or Space Opera (with psionics).



  • Space Opera or Weird Wars 2 would be my faves right now.



  • @NotaNumber said:

    In terms of genre, that's... the difficult question really. I know I like action, which I often wind up feeling is lacking, and cooperation between PCs against NPCs rather than PC on PC conflict - but those are elements that can fit in any of the above genres really.

    Try and come up with three random but somewhat mid- or long-term plots you want to run and see where they'd fit best. That should be enough to fill out the opening days of a MUSH, and it might make it easier to pick one.

    I'm always pro a decent sci-fi/space opera place, but I'd play anything listed. Even Oriental Adventures, though I suspect that would run into the same problem that the L5R MU* ran into of attracting players unfamiliar with samurai culture (I still mourn not really getting to play my Unicorn horse warrior character).


  • Pitcrew

    Thanks for the feedback guys! Unfortunately, I don't know Weird Wars at all (I don't own that book). Deadlands is still on the table but... I AM somewhat nervous about the fact there's a billion things from classic that I just don't know about settingwise and that might cause issues with more experienced players/gms.

    In terms of plots, I tend to prefer aiming stuff specifically at characters (when I run tabletop, I'm usually targeting their specific backgrounds) which makes it difficult to come up with some in a vacuum.

    For either the Fantasy or the Space Opera setting, I was thinking of modding an old system I used to use when I last staffed; basically there'd be a public board with either Quests (explore the following tombs/slay the following monsters) or Jobs (find the source of Mysterious Signal X, track down and claim the bounty on this Bad Dude) which scenerunners could choose to run with, and which I'd run myself as generic pick up and go adventure type stuff.

    Space Opera does lend itself better to big dramatic stories in my mind - I'm picturing a neutral station which can then be used to recycle all sorts of longer-term stories. Three off the top of my head would be a virus outbreak, an aggressive force threatening to take over the station, or tensions between two racial populations rising as war in the larger galaxy spills over to the station.

    The only problem I have there is that such stories would proooobably be more engaging with a single, stable 'cast' of lead characters (The Chief of Security, The Station Commander, etc etc), and I'm not sure I'd want to open those slots up to PCs, because that way lays drama... which makes me wonder if the fantasy setting (which has far less inherent 'structure' than the Space Opera I was considering) might not be the better long-term prospect.

    I guess it is also fairly easy to take those plot ideas and translate them into the fantasy world, there'd just be less expectation of an overall authority who can put their foot down and say 'No. Stop' and thus more room for adventurers to jump in and wave their swords and wands around.


  • Pitcrew

    Space Opera or Fantasy. "Oriental Adventures" would only really work for me if it was Exalted style.



  • @NotaNumber said:

    I guess it is also fairly easy to take those plot ideas and translate them into the fantasy world, there'd just be less expectation of an overall authority who can put their foot down and say 'No. Stop' and thus more room for adventurers to jump in and wave their swords and wands around.

    Depends on what you mean by 'fantasy.' The turn-over associated with heirs and other nobles expected to kind of run shit isn't the only reason Lords 'n Ladies games tend to be fairly stagnant, but it's a big contributing reason. Any kind of fantasy that people try and make 'political' has far worse problems in this area than even a star ship, in my experience. This'd probably be less of an issue in roving adventure-style RP, though.


  • Pitcrew

    Yeah, I definitely want more 'Roving Adventurer' style than anything else, whether in space or fantasy. I'm not interested in running a Game of Thrones MU* or similar - there's nothing wrong with that inherently but, it isn't my bag.


  • Coder

    @Coin said:

    Space Opera or Fantasy. "Oriental Adventures" would only really work for me if it was Exalted style.

    Or Avatar.

    water-tribe


  • Pitcrew

    @Glitch said:

    @Coin said:

    Space Opera or Fantasy. "Oriental Adventures" would only really work for me if it was Exalted style.

    Or Avatar.

    water-tribe

    Wel, Avatar is definitely Exalted-style. XD


  • Coder

    I would love for a super hero game that wasn't consent based and/or the Hero System... The Super Hero supplement for Savage Worlds is actually pretty nice.

    Deadlands would also be awesome though, I would play that in what spare time I have that is not devoted to coding.

    Space Opera is cool, but, difficult to do as it tends to create tiny pockets of RP spread out over vast distances/areas that are hard to sustain.

    I'd /love/ to see a Conanesque low fantasy game, I was going back and forth between doing that or ShadowRun but decided to go with ShadowRun so someone else needs to do that.


  • Pitcrew

    Any game I'd run would be consent based. I don't want player conflict as the focus (I don't want to deny it absolutely, but I don't want it to be something that comes up a lot).

    I think I'm leaning towards trying for the space opera, mostly because rereading the Science Fiction supplement for Savage Worlds got me more excited than rereading the Fantasy one, and selfishly, I'm more likely to actually play Deadlands IRL fairly soon - as a tiebreaker, that might as well work.

    Hopefully, having a space station as the primary setting point will help keep people together and mitigate the 'pockets of RP' problem a bit. I'm picturing that as the 'hub' people come back to between going off on adventures, with a flexible time system so people who don't want to be scenelocked on some far-flung planet away from everyone else can avoid that.

    I'm also pondering giving every character the option of either a ship, power armour, a walker, Arcane Background: Psionics, or an extra Edge... mostly so that those first three elements can be a thing more easily than normal (a quick search didn't come up with any 'I own a cool vehicle' edges' immediately, I assume it is the sort of thing you usually handle with the GM just giving the players one). Possibly with a 'You owe a debt on it' disadvantage unless you spend two Edges...



  • @Lithium said:

    I'd /love/ to see a Conanesque low fantasy game, I was going back and forth between doing that or ShadowRun but decided to go with ShadowRun so someone else needs to do that.

    Savage worlds has a fun Conan supplement book, I think it's just a netbook because it doesn't have any branding, but it looks pretty solid at first glance.



  • Yay space opera.

    I don't think of "consent" as the only way to limit PvP. It's a way, but you can also just structure a setting that's very clearly PvE and have the PCs are members of a single faction or factions on the same side. I think of OOC consent as more risk mitigation (bad things can't happen to me unless I OK it) rather than IC conflict mitigation. There are also levels of it. Plenty of games that are mostly PvE also have strong IC Action = IC Consequences enforced, and the possibility of ganking in high-risk plots.


  • Pitcrew

    I'm not sure yet how I'm planning to codify consent/risk/pvp. For sure, there'll be ICA = ICC to some degree (even if I hate that phrase for the way it is sometimes abused). The more I tinkered with the setting, though, the more I realized that shutting out all conflict on consent grounds shuts off a lot of potentially interesting stories. I dunno. Something to think about, for sure.

    Everything is (obviously) still hugely up in the air, but I threw together some initial thoughts after dinner. You can find them on this wiki over here: http://savagestars.wikispaces.com/ if you're curious! I had fun sketching out the 'history' of the world. Next up I guess is codifying the tech level some more than the implicit bits laid out so far.


  • Coder

    @NotaNumber The write-up appears to be behind a login and not public.


  • Pitcrew

    Derp. Permissions changed.